Gum treatment

Gum treatment

What is a gum disease? 

Our gums tell a lot about our oral health and general health. Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums which can progress to affect the bone supporting the tooth.

How is gum disease caused?

Plaque is sticky colourless film that is constantly forming on the surface of the teeth. Saliva, food and fluids combine to form plaque which contains bacteria. Plaque starts forming immediately after brushing. Hence it is very important to brush and floss our teeth twice a day. If the plaque is not removed, it hardens to form tartar or calculus. The tartar cannot be removed by brushing. Only a professional dental cleaning would remove the tartar.   The bacteria in the plaque cause inflammation of the gums (gingivitis). 

What are the causes of gum disease?

Plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. But other factors can also cause gum disease. These are

  • Hormonal changes in women during puberty, menstrual cycle, pregnancy, menopause.
  • Some medications that reduce salivary flow, anti convuslant drugs, anti angina drugs.
  • Certain systemic diseases like diabetes, cancer, HIV. In diabetes, the body’s abilty to use blood sugar is affected. So they are at a higher risk of developing infection of gums and periodontitis.
  • Habits like smoking makes it harder for gum tissue to repair by itself.
  • Poor oral hygiene habits like improper brushing and flossing.
  • hereditary

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

Gum diseases are usually painless even in advanced stages. So it may go unnoticed. But there may be other symptoms like

  • Red, swollen and tender gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bleeding from gums during brushing
  • Bad breath 
  • Bad taste in mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Deep pockets around the tooth
  • Loosening or shifting of teeth
  • Change in bite
  • Sensitivity in teeth

What are the stages of gum disease? Is it reversible?

The bacteria in the plaque cause inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) which is the early stage of gum disease. This stage of the gum disease is completely reversible by treatment. When left untreated the inflammation spreads to the supporting structures of the tooth and the bone.

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The gums and bone gets pulled away from teeth causing pockets. Dirt gets accumulated in these spaces causing infection. This condition is called periodontitis which is the second stage. In advanced periodontitis more bone destruction happens and the teeth become loose and eventually fall off.

How to prevent gum disease?

  • Proper oral hygiene like brushing and flossing
  • Professional cleaning by your dentist once every six months.
  • Antibacterial mouth rinses
  • Avoid smoking. Smokers are at a 7% higher risk to develop gum disease
  • Avoid stress as it may lower the immunity to fight against infection
  • A well balanced diet rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin E help to promote gum health and improves immunity.
  • Avoid clenching or grinding your teeth.

What are the treatment options for gum diseases?

Most of the initial gum problems could be treated only by a professional dental cleaning once in six months.

Scaling and root planing- The plaque and tartar is removed from above and below the gum lines using piezosonic scalers.

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Flap surgery,pocket reduction surgery, bone grafts, soft tissue grafts, guided tissue regeneration, gum reduction surgery are some of the procedures done at Smile and Glow to treat Gum diseases. Piezosurgeries are yielding very promising results for gum diseases.

How does gum disease affect the general health of the body?

Gum diseases have a direct link on general health. The bacteria from the gums enter the bloodstream and cause serious health issues like stroke, heart disease, diabetes, alzhimers,cancer, pregnancy complications like low birth weight babies, pre term delivery, osteoarthritis and diabetes. 

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Authored By : Dr. S. Hemamalathi and Dr. K. S Senthil Kumar

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